• director

December Newsletter

Dear Health Ministries Network Community,

December provides a wonderful time to pause and reflect. The days are short, both in light and number, until it is 2021. And this invites us to pause and consider the year behind us and the hope of what is to come. Despite the darkness and the notion of endings, we hold great hope in beginnings.

Despite the challenges of pandemic, or perhaps because of it, we are moving forward with great care and diligence. Many of you have responded to our Spirit of Giving letter, which replaced a live event here. Thank you. Though an event would be preferable if the day were different, the words we shared are wonderful. Congratulations on all you’ve done and all you’re doing. If you haven’t had a chance to read the letter, please do!

As we look to 2021, perhaps we’re looking forward not only to an end to the pandemic and a return to live and in-person community, but also to growth. We have just welcomed Dr. Emily Gibson (last month’s speaker) to our HMN Board, and we are so excited! If you have not “met” her at our meeting, please se the meeting video link (below). We are excited to welcome her and all the medical and creative talents that she brings!

This year, we look forward to working with WWU nursing students, and we’ll be soliciting your ideas to put together proposals—what issues can we address together? We’ll be looking at how we can support you better with education and tools and good connections.

We look forward to coming together to address your need for supportive tools around faith communities reopening. We look forward to reviewing our website, updating email connections and streamlining volunteer hours submissions. We look forward to offering our spring Foundations course online. Perhaps most of all, we look forward to reaching out more deeply into our rural communities and those who are most vulnerable. Empowering you to empower them. Empowering all of us.

As this year draws to a close, you remain a bright light in the shorter days. I look forward to us all burning brightly together in 2021.

With gratitude,

With gratitude and joy,

Sarah Lane

Executive Director


HMN Monthly Meeting

Friday, December 18, 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

Zoom Video Conference Check in, including: sharing victories and challenges this year; a review of resources available to stay up-to-date during COVID-19 (see links below); discussion about faith community needs during and after COVID-19; partnering with WWU Nursing students in upcoming quarters; and streamlining hours entries. We'll keep this light, encouraging discussion about what's working, what's not, and where we go next! Everyone is welcome to attend!

You may also bring questions and stories to share at the Zoom Meeting!

See newsletter email for Zoom link.

For questions contact director@healthministriesnetwork.net

Links to:

State DOH Website

Whatcom County

Health Dept. Website

Skagit County Health Dept. Website

Island County Health Dept. Website

San Juan County Health Dept. Website

Reminder: Please Enter Hours

As we quickly come to the end of 2020, it is time to reflect on all the good things that we're doing. Part of taking stock is entering our hours so that we can rest and reflect--and plan for the upcoming year.

If you haven't entered your FCN or HM hours at our website, please take a moment to do that now. Just click here: https://www.healthministriesnetwork.net/hours

You can also email your PDF to director@healthministries.net, or simply let us know you're having difficulty, so that we can find a way to support you--and others who may also be struggling with entering hours.

Spirituality and Community-wide Crisis: Building Systems to Support Connection and Recovery

What is the impact and importance of spirituality for a community in the face of widespread trauma and hurt? Research demonstrates community wide programs that engage spirituality and spiritual communities can be highly effective and include individuals across diverse faith traditions and beliefs. This webinar will highlight examples of these interventions as well as research on the effectiveness of such efforts. It will also discuss the differences and similarities between trauma and the collective healing process that can be experienced by a community writ large.


Jamie Aten, Ph.D., Disaster Psychologist, Founder and Executive Director, Humanitarian Disaster Institute

Rabbi Shaul Marshall Paver, Chaplain and Spiritual Care Provider, Norwalk Hospital and Conn. Dept. of Corrections' Cheshire and Newton facilities

Rev. Dr. Walter Earl Fluker, Dean's Professor of Spirituality, Ethics, and Leadership, Candler School of Theology--Emory University

Tues., Dec. 8, 2020. 12:00pm ET Register here.

If you miss this opportunity, please know that the video will be posted here.

Rural Faith Leaders Workshop Series: Empowering Faith Leaders to Help Persons with Substance Use Disorder

Join the Partnership Center for this first in a series of four workshops for rural faith leaders to support individuals with substance use disorders (SUDs). Organized by the White House Office of Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), each workshop will have a specific focus to assist faith communities to be both first responders, communities of hope, and support for people and families struggling with addiction.

The workshops will be recorded and made available on the Rural Community Toolbox site (www.ruralcommunitytoolbox.org).


Increase the Faith Leaders' understanding of substance use disorder and how to connect faith to prevention, treatment, and recovery.

Build the capacity of Faith leaders to take action by providing information to help get leaders and their congregants ready to provide the support needed to assist individuals with substance use disorder.

Help Faith Leaders to find their lane and empower faith communities to put initiatives in place to help in the area(s) where they can make the most difference.


RSVP to Betty-Ann Bryce at MBX.ONDCP.RuralAffairs@ondcp.eop.gov. Please include your name, title, organization, and contact information. Registered participants will receive the details to join the event closer to the event date.

If you miss this opportunity, please know that the video will be posted here.

HHS: COVID-19 Emergency Webinar for Community-Based Organizations: Vaccines

Judy Monroe, CDC Principal Deputy Director Dr. Anne Schuchat will discuss the current COVID-19 response, including the latest information about vaccines, and vaccine distribution plans. A local expert will also speak about vaccine-related challenges and opportunities. (Photo credit: CDC)

Wed. Dec. 16, 2020, 3:00 p.m. ET Register here.

Recording Available: November Meeting with Dr. Emily Gibson Focuses on Mental Health During COVID-19

If you missed the November meeting or would like to review its content, please see the link below to our community check in and informative discussion with Dr. Emily Gibson, a Board-Certified Family Physician who has provided primary care in a variety of settings: an inner city community clinic, in private practice, inpatient chemical dependency and behavioral health, child abuse evaluations and as medical director for WWU Student Health. Dr. Gibson is currently providing behavioral health telehealth services with WWU and will discuss "Behavioral Health Issues Today." She addressed symptoms of clinical depression vs. quarantine loneliness as well as symptoms of concern, including self-medication with substances. Dr. Gibson shared information about how online PDQ9 and GAD7 screening questionnaires can help discern what is going on in order to appropriately guide an individual to a physician or therapist.

Link to the video here and forms below:

Watch the Event on YouTube

November Meeting Notes

AUDIT Alcohol Screening Tool

Cannabis Use Disorders ID Test

Generalized Anxiety Disorder Screening Tool

PHQ Depression Screening Tool

Resiliency During COVID-19 Information

Community Events & Info

In an effort to connect our volunteers with relevant resources, we publish community events and information in our monthly newsletter and on our website. Email director@healthministriesnetwork.netto add your own.

National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW)

During 2020-2021, getting a flu vaccine is and will be more important than ever because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Visit and shre CDC’s Influenza (flu) webpage, Multi-Language Factsheets, and Spanish Communication Resources.

CDC's COVID-19 One-Stop-Shop Toolkits

Videos, social media, PSAs, print resources, checklists, FAQs, and web resources for every sector or community to prevent the spread of COVID-19. For information specific to faith communities, click here

Mental Health, Substance Use, and Suicidal Ideation During the COVID-19 Pandemic

While it is known that communities have faced mental health challenges related to COVID-19–associated morbidity, mortality, and mitigation activities, new data reports that during June 24–30, 2020, younger adults, racial/ethnic minorities, essential workers, and unpaid adult caregivers experienced disproportionately worse mental health outcomes, increased substance use, and elevated suicidal ideation. Read the report for implications related to public health practices.

Monthly CHW Meeting